The Congress walked out of the Rajya Sabha briefly in protest against what it called “snooping” on Rahul Gandhi. For the government, minister Arun Jaitley described it as “profiling” and said security should be left to security experts. “We should not attempt to become one (security expert),” he said.
Proceedings began with deputy chairman P J Kurien mentioning a notice given by Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad, who wanted suspension of business and a discussion on the matter.
“I have never seen this kind of proforma. He (Rahul) has been an SPG protectee since his father was the prime minister. Why did the Delhi police not feel the need till now to fill such a proforma? On March 14, two officers from Delhi police went again to his house and sought details about his associates. I want to know if the government wants to intimidate political parties in and outside the House who raise their voice? It is not a police state.”
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The JD(U)’s KC Tyagi said if the proforma dates back to 1987, it should have been changed by now. “Last week, the government repealed so many obsolete laws,” he said.
The Samajwadi Party’s Naresh Aggarwal said, “I have been in jail during various movements. The Delhi commissioner of police said such a proforma was sent to my house too. This proforma is identical to the one we filled in jail. Not just MPs but their own ministers are also being snooped on, anyone who can raise a voice in democracy is being (snooped on).”
Jaitley said, “Gossip cannot be treated as fact and given sanctity so as to be repeated in the House. During the UPA government’s time, a finance minister went for debugging of his office as he suspected snooping by another minister. We should not try to be a security expert.
It is not a matter of NDA or UPA, there are 526 people whose details have been collected including former prime ministers H D Deve Gowda, I K Gujral, Manmohan Singh and A B Vajpayee. It did not start in March 2015, it started in 1987. The day Rahul Gandhi was profiled, the same day BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri too was profiled.”
The Congress walked out after Kurien rejected its notice. Its MPs, however, returned after 20 minutes. In the Lok Sabha, Jaitley made a similar statement.